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~ Homemade All-American Catalina Salad Dressing ~

6a0120a8551282970b019104f398f4970cThe technical definition for French dressing/salad dressing is:  1) a simple oil-and-vinegar combination, seasoned with salt, pepper and various herbs, or, 2) a commercial American dressing that is creamy, tartly sweet and red-orange in color.  The latter is the dressing that captivated my younger brother David during his early teen years.  His favorite brand was (and still is) manufactured by Kraft Foods and is named Catalina.  David would cover (drench) very large chunks of iceberg lettuce with this tangy, orange dressing.  In my adult years, I too found myself using copious amounts of it to dress one of my favorites:  the classic spinach salad. 

The next step for me was to create my own "tangier" version of this beloved bottled dressing.  After several attempts and experiments (using "tomato-y" ingredients such as ketchup, chili sauce, tomato paste and even one try with tomato puree -- ok but not great), this simple version using canned, condensed tomato soup produced what I consider to be perfection.

My Homemade French Salad Dressing #1 (Ingredients)1  10 3/4-ounce can condensed tomato soup

1/2  cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/4  teaspoon garlic powder

1/4  teaspoon sea salt

1/4  teaspoon white pepper

1/2  cup vegetable oil

My Homemade French Salad Dressing #2 (Begin Whisking Ingredients) ~ Step 1.  In medium mixing bowl, whisk together the soup, vinegar, sugar, mustard, Worcestershire, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  








~ Step 2.  Gradually, and in a thin steady stream, vigorously whisk in the oil.  Continue to whisk until the mixture is smooth, thickened, satiny and emulsified.  This process will only take about 1 minute.






My Homemade French Salad Dressing #4 (Done) ~ Step 3.  Use immediately or transfer to a food storage container (preferably a glass one, as a plastic one will be permanently stained).

Cover and refrigerate.  Return to room temperature and gently shake or stir briefly, just prior to using.






Homemade All-American Catalina Salad Dressing:  Recipe yields 3 cups of salad dressing.

Special Equipment List:  whisk; 3-4-cup food storage container (preferably glass) w/tight fitting lid

6a0120a8551282970b0133f443db05970b-500wiCook's Note:  This dressing keeps very nicely in the refrigerator for several weeks.  Once it is whisked together, it really never separates, which makes it great to serve on a buffet table or at a gathering where repeatedly shaking or stirring a salad dressing can be a nuisance.  Because it contains no mayonnaise, it's great for taking to outdoor picnics and tailgates.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2010)


Sylvia! Thank-you so much for finding this typo in this recipe. It happens to the best of us. You will need 1/2 cup of sugar. I have gone back into my blog and made the correction (so it does not happen to anyone else). Your foodie friend, ~ Mel.

Oops. How much sugar?

Hi Jesse! The bottled Kraft Catalina dressing is what I modeled my dressing recipe after. I thought that even though it was not a "used" ingredient, if someone wanted to buy a dressing that would go well on 'Mel's Classic Bacon & Egg Spinach Salad' (instead of making homamde, which is eazy and better), they would know what to buy. Hope this helps!

Never mind.

There is Catalina Dressing in the picture but not in the recipe. What gives?

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